DIET AND FITNESS:

Why Am I Becoming Hunched
Back?
--Causes and Top 7 Natural
Remedies
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August 20, 2016

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

Do you notice your grandmother bending over more and
more when she walks? Do you look at yourself in the mirror
and see a definite hunch in your posture?

Hunchback, or "kyphosis" to give it its technical name, is
when you have a severe forward bend in your spine, giving
you that classic “old person” posture. It is a common
symptom of osteoporosis as well as a number of other
conditions that strike as you get older.  

In fact, it may affect you well before you get older. Even
women in their twenties start to develop kyphosis, which
leads to hunchback. Kyphosis affects up to 35% of women
between the ages of 20 and 60, according to a 1993 study
from Athena Institute for Women's Wellness Research,
Haverford, PA .

But the reality is – you don´t have to become hunch backed
when you age. Becoming hunch backed is not necessarily an
inevitable part of getting older, and you can do something
about it.

What Causes a “Hunch Back”?

Also known as “dowager´s hump”, the hunchback condition
is a classic symptom of
osteoporosis. With osteoporosis your
bones become thin and weak, leading to tiny fractures in the
spine and weakness in the vertebrae that leads to
compression.

A hunch back is also linked to poor posture and degenerative
disc disease, which is often caused by
osteoarthritis. Having
weak back muscles can give you a greater risk of being
hunchbacked as you age.

If you have abnormally shaped vertebrae, as in the case of
Scheuermann’s kyphosis, the vertebrae end up not
developing properly and coming out of position. You can
also suffer from congenital kyphosis where developments in
the womb affect the normal development of the spine.

Spondylosis affects the spine and can help cause a hunch
back as the bones and discs are worn down and damaged
over time. Spina bifida, Paget´s disease, neurofibromatosis,
muscular dystrophy, tuberculosis, and certain cancers can all
cause a hunched back. Spinal injury often results in a hunch
back.

What Are the Symptoms Leading Up to Hunch Back?


As you lead up to becoming hunch backed you are likely to
experience no symptoms at all. If you suffer from
osteoporosis your bones become weaker and start to break
and compress without you noticing. Or you may experience
an onset of stiffness in the back and dull, aching pain.
Sometimes spine compression can result in sharp and
significant pain that lasts for weeks or months.

As your spine begins to curve more severely you start to
walk differently. Your clothes fit differently as your head and
neck are pushed forward and your lower abdomen pushed
back – you start to lose your waist differentiation. You begin
to have problems driving or lying face down as you cannot
easily look upwards. Gradually as you become more hunch
backed you lose motion in your shoulders and you start to
lose your balance, increasing the risk of dangerous falls.

You become short of breath as the spinal balance is
disrupted and you could become more tired, and have a
lower capacity for exercise as the rib cage does not easily
expand while breathing.

But thankfully it is not too late if you are just beginning to
develop signs of a hunchback, or if you have no signs at all.
You can and should slow the progression of kyphosis by
keeping active, and protecting yourself against osteoporosis.

We looked at recent scientific studies to see how natural
remedies can help stop the progression of a hunch back and
keep you walking tall into your old age.




























1.
Yoga Helps Cure a Hunchback

If you feel like you are starting to show the signs of a
hunched back, or you generally have poor posture that could
lead to a hunch, yoga is one of the best activities you can do
to correct it. Numerous studies have shown that yoga helps
correct poor posture and keep bones strong.

A 2002 study from the University of California at Los Angeles
looked at 19 women completing a course of yoga, who had
some degree of spinal curve and who completed a diary of
symptoms while completing the yoga classes. The height of
those women doing yoga increased, as did range of
movement.

Sixty-three percent of the women reported increased
postural awareness and improvement, as well as increased
wellbeing and improvements in physical function.
Researchers said that “this pilot study suggests that the use
of yoga among women with hyperkyphosis is safe and
acceptable and may produce better posture. The mechanisms
by which postural improvements occurred among our
participants may have included increased strength and
flexibility and heightened attention to alignment.”

2.
Exercises to Cure Hunched Back and Text Neck

So-called “text neck” is caused by consistently bending over
a cell phone to check messages and type, which results in a
hunched back. As you bend over a computer to type your
back muscles get weaker and your chest gets tighter. You
start to develop a rounded upper back and stiffness in the
muscles.

Physiotherapist Nick Sinfield with the NHS (National Health
Service) in the UK says that upper back, rear shoulder and
neck strengthening exercises are needed when you are
always hunching over a keyboard or phone. You can gently
lengthen your neck as you tuck in your chin to your chest.
Also, do seated rows when you are at the gym, and pull-ups.
Chest stretches are also good for correcting a hunched back.

3.
Sarcopenia Can Cause a Hunched Back – How to Correct It

Sarcopenia is the gradual loss of muscle mass as you age. It
is inevitable, and it steps up after the age of 50. It can cause
osteoporosis and poor posture, which result in a hunched
back.

A 2013 study from Tokyo University found that exercising in
middle age helps to protect against sarcopenia and lower the
risk of a hunched back.

The study looked at the presence of sarcopenia in 1,000
elderly Japanese participants – 13.8 percent of men and 12.4
percent of women had sarcopenia.

Having an exercise habit in middle age was associated with
low prevalence of the condition, and significantly linked with
higher grip strength and better posture and ability to stand.

Eating enough protein is also key to preventing sarcopenia.
As we age, many of us do not get enough protein.

How much is enough? Multiply your weight in pounds by
0.36, according to
Harvard Medical School.

A woman weighing 150 pounds, therefore, would need to
eat 54 grams of protein a day.  A man weighing 180 pounds
would need to eat 64.8 grams of protein a day.

4.
For Men, Low Testosterone Can Result in a Hunch Back

It seems that prolonged low levels of testosterone in men
can not only result in decreased libido but in sarcopenia and
bone mineral loss – which can lead to a hunch back in older
age. A 2006 study by researchers in the US part of the
Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study Group looked at 2,586
men aged between 65 and 99.

The risk of low bone mineral density and falls increased by
40 percent when men had lowest testosterone levels. This
result can be linked to an increased risk of a hunch back in
older age as hunchback is linked to low bone mineral density
and the symptoms of falling.

5.
Soy Helps Protect Against Hunch Back Caused by
Osteoporosis


Soy products that are rich in protein and isoflavones can
help protect women undergoing menopause from bone loss
and osteoporosis – which in turn helps to prevent a hunched
back.

A 2015 study by the University of Hull in the UK found that
the combination of soy protein and isoflavones, found in
supplements or a diet rich in soybean foods, is linked to
lower bone loss. The study looked at 200 women taking soy
protein with or without isoflavones.  

6.
Lose the Belly Fat to Protect Against a Hunched Back

Men who have more belly fat are at higher risk of developing
osteoporosis, according to a 2012 study by researchers at
the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical
School. Being out of shape significantly increases the risk of
bone loss, which results in postural problems and possible
bending of the spine.

The fat around the belly is particularly harmful as it is also
linked to
heart disease. The researchers studied 35 obese
men and found that the men with more belly fat had a lower
bone strength and stiffness than men who were in better
shape around the middle.

Not only does belly fat increase the risk of osteoporosis, but
it also leads to posture problems that can eventually result in
a hunched back.

7.
Drinking Cola Is Linked to Hunch Back Caused By
Osteoporosis


Women who regularly drink cola have a higher risk of
developing osteoporosis than women who never drink it,
according to a 2006 study from Tufts University, Boston.

The link apparently is only connected to women, not men
who drink cola.

The study of 2,500 women shows that all women who
frequently drink cola no matter their age or calcium intake
have a significantly higher risk of low bone mineral density,
which can lead to postural problems like a curved back.










































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